Android KitKat 4.4, introduced by Google late on last year, brought with it an abundance of useful features, but due to the fragmented nature of the ecosystem, not everybody on Android has been able to enjoy its numerous perks. In fact, only a very small fraction of the Droid-wielding faithful have tasted the chocolatey, delicious new flavor, but thanks to the dedication of a wider community, those on older firmware needn’t miss out on all of the new features. The Immersive Mode, for example, turns the process of using any one of you favorite apps into a full-screen experience, and now, thanks to a third-party app, you don’t need to be on KitKat 4.4 to take advantage.
Thanks to the endeavors of developer Pieter Pareit, Immersive Mode is no longer reserved only to those on Android 4.4 KitKat. Upon installation of his Play Store utility, you’ll be able to view apps without having to see on-screen buttons or the status bar. Not only does this provide more real estate for the content at hand, but it minimizes distractions, and also, presents a generally cleaner aesthetic with less unnecessary clutter.
Costing a very reasonable $1.37 on the Google Play Store (£0.82 for folks in the UK), the self-explanatory Immersive Full-Screen Mode will take full advantage of your device’s display real estate, and one of the most impressive aspects is that it doesn’t require root. There’s nothing wrong with acquiring root access, of course, since it opens up a world of unlimited possibilities and is something we actively encourage here at Redmond Pie, but it’s always nice when apps function with minimal hacking involved.
But while the fact that it works without root is certainly noteworthy, there are one or two limitations. Thanks largely to Android’s own security measures, you won’t be able to use your device’s keyboard in a number of apps when in Immersive Mode, so obviously, it’s only going to be useful in situations where a keyboard isn’t necessary.
It’s a bit of a shame that the keyboard is hindered in this manner, and takes some of the sheen off what is otherwise a polished experience. Still, if you can see some value in a full-screen option that caters to most apps, be sure to check the link below.
(Download: Immersive Full-Screen Mode for Android on the Play Store)
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